Welcome to Sunnydale
A/N: Set in Season 4, between "A New Man" and "The I in Team", featuring a few mild canonical liberties taken with Alien physiology. This is the third and (hopefully) improved edition of a story which has already been published on Fanfiction.net. The plan is that once I’m done publishing this story here, the feedback it receives will be used to improve it further and then revise the copies on the other sites.
This story contains a wide variety of references and in-jokes. See how many you can find!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any elements from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Aliens. Only the plot and original characters of this story are my own.
*** ...men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse…
As the Slayer, Buffy Summers had a very peculiar working schedule. Every night she patrolled Sunnydale’s many cemeteries looking for monsters, particularly vampires rising from their graves. This being the Hellmouth, there was always at least one or two for her to slay, and after four years of practice, they rarely gave Buffy any trouble. But this one was different...
"EEEEEEEEEEEE! Stomach spiders going to EAT SLAYER VEINS! WHOOOHOOHOO!"
Very different. Buffy wished the deranged, wild-eyed creature of the night she was fighting would shut up, hold still, and let her stake it already! His insane ramblings were bringing back unpleasant memories of Drusilla, as well as aggravating the headache she already had from listening to Professor Walsh drone on in lecture today.You'd think someone in charge of a top-secret government project and a bunch of elite demon-fighting commandoes would be cool enough to make psychology even a little more exciting?
She thought. But nooo...
The dry subject matter and the Professor’s hardassed teaching style definitely made the class one of the more tedious parts of Buffy’s university life, and today it had given her a minor migraine which was not being helped at all by the yammerings of the disheveled vampire dancing around her. Must have bitten an LSD junkie or something.
Suddenly the vamp lashed out, smashing her in the face with a backhand. She stumbled back a couple steps, hit a tombstone, tripped, and toppled onto her back. “YAAAYHOOHEEHOO! SMASHIES FOR SPIDERS," the nutjob screeched. He grabbed the tombstone Buffy had tripped over, ripped it out of the ground, and raised it over his head.Nuh-uh. No way I'm gonna die listening to him screeching,
thought Buffy. She had maybe a second to think of and execute a plan, preferably one which-What’s that noise?
A roaring whooshing sound suddenly filled the air, rapidly building in volume and intensity. Buffy felt the air around her tremble and grow warmer as it was distorted by something moving very fast. She saw the vampire look up and his jaw drop, and then she was blinded by a bright streak of fire which passed over her, leaving scorching heat in its wake. When her vision cleared, the vampire was sitting on the ground, with his eyes wide, flames dancing on his hair and clothes, and the left side of his chest completely gone. It was as though an enormous shark had taken a bite out of his torso. While on fire.
"Eeeee…” the vampire moaned, "No food for stomach spiders toni-" The words turned into a scream as he began burning in earnest. Thrashing, the vampire fell backwards, uttered a final “EEEEE,” and disintegrated into ash. Buffy blinked.
"Whoa. That was convenient. In a weird, what-the-heck-just-happened sorta way." The Slayer picked herself up and dusted off her clothes. She then strolled over to the steaming furrow in the graveyard’s soil which had been ploughed by the smoke-shrouded object from the sky which was currently lodged against a headstone. Judging from the angle of the furrow, this was what had punched the hole in the vampire's chest. Something hot which had fallen from the sky with amazing speed... Hey,
Buffy thought, is this a meteor?
The meteor was oval-shaped, about a metre tall, greenish in colour, with a pebbled and leathery texture, and it looked like nothing she'd ever seen before. It also looked really, really hot, and way too big to carry comfortably and inconspicuously, which left the Slayer with a problem more difficult to solve than a crazy vampire. Buffy started looking for a phone booth.
Xander had been surprisingly pleased to discover that Anya did not share his enthusiasm for Babylon 5. This was mainly because her alternative to watching the better parts of Season 2 with him involved pushing him onto his back, sliding one hand behind his neck, the other beneath his shirt, and lowering her mouth to his earlobe, where she began to-
The phone rang.
Xander lunged at the phone, snatching it off the hook before it woke his parents. Anya groaned.
“Whoever that is, they’re evil. Buffy should kill them,” she said.
“Then she should kill herself.”
Xander, rolling his eyes, elected not to pass on Anya’s request. On the other end of the line, Buffy was calling for a ride. And, for some reason, oven mitts…
According to most authorities on first-year university life, Willow should have been in bed by now. But her roommate’s unique extracurriculars and Willow’s own late-night study habits meant she was still up and dressed when Buffy returned to their dorm room.
"Hey! How was patrolling?"
"Oh, nothing new. Fought a vampire who talked about stomach spiders, had my life saved by a meteor."
“And ruined my Mom’s oven mitts trying to load said meteor into the car,” Xander added as he appeared behind Buffy, lugging a metal trash can.
"Oh." After four years of helping out Buffy, the redheaded witch was unimpressed.
“Yep, had to make the Sunnydale Sanitation Department’s job just a little bit harder so we could bring it back,” said Xander.
"Lucky it had cooled off a bit by then, or I think it could have melted through the can,” Buffy said. “Here, I brought it home for you to do science stuff to." She took the can from Xander and plunked it down in front of Willow.
She peered inside and wrinkled her nose, partly at the sight of the unearthly object, and partly from taking a close look into a garbage can. "Buffy, are you sure this is a meteorite? It looks organic."
"Well, it fell out of the sky all flamey and supersonic so yeah, I'm gonna assume it's a meteor and not the Evil Knievel of garden-variety rocks."
Willow had to laugh at the image. "Wow, you're big with the sarcasm tonight. Rough day?"
Buffy smiled. "Sorry. It's just... did I mention almost getting killed by a nutso vampire and being saved by a space rock? Also I've got a world class migraine thanks to Walsh's droning in class today.''
“And she has to pay for the mitts now,” Xander said. “Don’t forget that.”
Willow furrowed her brow. "What part of Walsh's class do you find boring?"
"Um, aside from her biting the heads off at least one person per lecture? All of it. Especially what you call ‘the good part’."
"Oh!" Willow perked noticeably as recognition dawned. "You mean the big long digressions she likes to go on in the middle of class where she lists the ways the textbook is wrong? The ones that you usually sleep through?"
"The ones that you somehow manage to make one of the highlights of your day?"
"The ones she likes basing exam questions on?"
"Exactly! Wait, we need that crap to pass?" Willow nodded. "The price of beauty sleep is getting way too high." Buffy groaned.
“And to think I had regrets about not pursuing the glamorous college lifestyle,” Xander said.
Willow smiled, and hefted the can. "Can I run this over to Giles'? Maybe he'll know more about what it is. Because it might not be a rocky Evil Knievel, but it's no ordinary meteorite either." She ran her fingers curiously over the strange pebbled surface, still warm from impact. It didn’t seem heavy enough for rock, and it felt like there was something pulsing inside... "He should still be up, and I’m sure Xander won’t mind playing taxi."
"Sure, knock yourself out," Buffy said, ignoring Xander’s protests as she matched action to words and collapsed on her bed, knocking herself out on her pillow.
Willow and Xander opened the door to Giles' house (which, inexplicably, was once again unlocked) and stepped in. The mound of books on the coffee table and his bleary-eyed expression indicated an all-night research binge. "Hey Giles," she said cheerfully, "watcha reading?"
"Oh, hello Willow, Xander," he said wearily. "I'm just looking at some old texts I bought recently. A collector of the occult, fellow name of Carter, passed on recently and all his books came into the market just when I was looking to expand my shelves. Some fascinating ideas regarding demon mythology and such in some of them..."
"Uh-huh,” said Xander. “Hence the massive night-long read-a-thon?"
"Night long..." Giles glanced at the clock. "Dear Lord, is that how long I've been up? I had no idea. I suppose I must get some rest."
"You do that!" Willow said with enthusiasm. "When you wake up, you wanna look at this meteor Buffy found on patrol?" She held the can out.
"Meteor?..." Giles looked at it. "Oh… remarkable. Thank you Willow, that's quite interesting. I promise to take a look at it with you-“ he yawned- “tomorrow."
Giles didn’t seem to hear their goodbyes after they left the can by the table, and stumbled more than once on his way to bed. Xander and Willow laughed as they left his home.
“A meteor is ‘quite interesting’? What was that guy reading?” Xander said.
“He needs to get some sleep alright,” said Willow. “I’ll ask about the books when I help him with the meteorite tomorrow.”
Willow didn’t know it, but that was never going to happen.